Governor Ivey Signs Four Executive Orders, Begins Second Term Education Reform Push

Governor Ivey Signs Four Executive Orders, Begins Second Term Education Reform Push

MONTGOMERY — Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday signed four education-focused executive orders and issued a memo to the Department of Early Childhood Education. Governor Ivey has consistently stated that improving educational outcomes for Alabama’s students is her top priority. The signing of these executive orders marks the first of many steps that will be taken to achieve her goal of having Alabama ranked in the top thirty states for numeracy and literacy by the end of her term.

“I am proud to sign these executive orders into effect and believe they will lay an essential foundation for ensuring every Alabama student receives a high-quality education,” said Governor Ivey. “This is the first of many steps I plan to take in this new term to increase Alabama’s national ranking in our students’ reading and math performance. Our children are our future, and by investing in their education, we are investing in a better Alabama.”

Executive Order No. 729: Promoting Early Literacy by Establishing a Statewide Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library Network

  • Governor Ivey authorized $4.1 million for the roll-out of the program, which will ensure every Alabamian will begin receiving age-appropriate books by mail each month after they are born until five years of age.
  • Parents will have the right to opt their children out at any time.

Executive Order No. 730: Establishing the Governor’s Commission on Teaching and Learning

  • The commission, which is comprised of a diverse group of subject matter experts, will examine ways to enhance the quality of elementary and secondary education in Alabama and will produce a report of recommendations by December 1, 2023.

Members of the commission include the following:

  • Business Education Alliance President and former State Superintendent of Education Dr. Joe Morton (Chair)
  • State Superintendent of Education Dr. Eric Mackey
  • State Sen. Donnie Chesteen (R-SD29)
  • Alan Baker (R-HD66)
  • Barbara Drummond (D-HD103)
  • Montgomery City Schools Superintendent Dr. Melvin Brown
  • Holtville High School Principal Kyle Futral
  • Mountain Brook Schools Superintendent Dr. Dicky Barlow
  • Booker T. Washington K-8 Teacher Reggie White
  • Alabama Parent Teacher Association President Donna McCurry
  • Alabaster City Schools Schoolboard Member Derek Henderson
  • Retired Mississippi State Superintendent Dr. Carey Wright
  • Co-founder and CEO of Whiteboard Advisors Ben Wallerstein

Executive Order No. 731: Ensuring Progress Toward Full Implementation of Vital Education Initiatives

  • During Governor Ivey’s tenure in office, the state of Alabama has launched several education-focused initiatives, such as the Literacy Act (2019), the Numeracy Act (2022), the Computer Science for Alabama Act (2019), a civics-test requirement (2017), and a requirement of the State Board of Education that every high school graduate obtain a college and career readiness indicator (2022).
  • Executive Order No. 731 directs the State Superintendent of Education to submit a report outlining past progress made to date as well as future action items to expeditiously ensure the implementation of the aforementioned initiatives. The reports are due June 30, 2023.

Executive Order No. 732: Establishing a K-12 Teacher Registered Apprenticeship Pilot Program to Increase Pathways to the Teaching Profession

  • This pilot program will provide an additional pathway—initially, in areas with documented teacher shortages—for qualifying paraprofessionals and teacher’s aides to obtain a Class A or Class B teaching certificate by demonstrating competency in the classroom.
  • The pilot program will be administered by the Alabama Office of Apprenticeship within the Department of Commerce.

Additionally, Governor Ivey sent a memo to Secretary of Early Childhood Education Dr. Barbara Cooper that directs the department to prioritize creating new First-Class Pre-K classrooms in counties where more than 20% of the population falls below federal poverty guidelines. Governor Ivey believes that increased access to Alabama’s nation-leading program is vital to reaching our education-based goals.

Executive Order No. 729

Executive Order No. 730

Executive Order No. 731

Executive Order No. 732

The ECE Memo on Pre-K Saturation is attached.